Open Access Publishing: More
Readers, More Impact
A. Ben Wagner, Sciences Librarian
University at Buffalo
WNY/Ontario ACRL Fall Conf. - Nov. 5, 2010
(or…Why scholars should care about open
access and how to communicate that)
Do citation metrics really matter?
Used to be Publish or Perish.
Now it’s increasingly Get Cited or Perish.
More departments tracking citation counts for
individuals and subgroups in dept.
Many more requests for citation metrics from
faculty & even grad students
Used increasingly in tenure, promotion, &
funding allocations by departments, institutions,
and even entire countries
Rapidly moving beyond physical sciences
New NRC Report
A Data-Based Assessment of Research-
Doctorate Programs in the United States.
Dept. by Dept. Ranking partially based on
faculty publication metrics 2000-2006
using Web of Science citation data
The OA Message to Researchers
Open Access: more readers, more
citations, more impact
It’s your work; retain a few rights, at least
posting a manuscript to repository.
Sure you publish for prestige, but you also
publish to be read!
2007 Impact = 238 2007 cites = 1.506
Factor 158 2005-06 articles
Child Abuse &
The Classic Journal Impact Factor
JIF is a measure of extreme currency – 2
JIF is a GROSS average. Average article
in Nano Letters cited 10.371 times,
But the citation RANGE = 0 - 319 times
(14 articles cited zero times!).
Never ever intended to measure quality of
an individual article or author, even
Thomson Scientific says that.
A Better Citation Metric
h-Index (Hirsch Index)
An h-Index of 11 means a person (or
dept.) has 11 articles cited at least 11
Easily calculated from Web of Science
Critique of h-index
Rewards longevity, but not least-
publishable-unit or sheer quantity.
Recent and old work rewarded equally
Does not reward highly cited papers
Many variants (g-index, m-index, etc.
proposed to weight age, recent work, &
highly cited papers, # of coauthors)
Relatively insensitive to manipulation.
Variants of h-index
g-index = g number of papers that
received (collectively) g2
highly cited papers]
m-index = h-index / no. of years a
researcher has published [normalizes for
Citation Indexes – Many more players – 1
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Google Scholar/Harzing’s POP
Amazon (Search inside this book)
Citation Bridge (US Patents)
Citation Indexes – Many more players - 2
CiteSeer (primarily computer & info sci)
Spires (High Energy Physics)
For an individual or department:
Total cites to all published articles plus
Citation Report graphs from appropriate the
citation databases (SCI, SSCI, AHCI,+?)
Give a pretty good take on the impact of
one’s journal articles within the limits of
available citation data.
Demonstrably superior to JIF
A Free, New Citation Tool
Harzing’s Publish or Perish
Automatically analyzes citations from
Google Scholar for any author.
Instructive to compare Web of Science
citation report with Harzing’s report.
Warning: Dirty data, don’t take at face
Harzing’s POP Statistics
Total number of papers & citations
Ave. number of citations per paper & per author
Ave. number of papers per author & per year
Hirsch's h-index and related parameters
Other variations on the h-index
Age-weighted citation rate
Number of authors per paper
Primer on Open Access (OA)
OA simply means free-to-read.
OA is fully compatible with rigorous peer
OA does not necessarily mean author-pay
(there are many models being tested).
OA journals can be low or high quality,
just like subscription journals.
Can OA have Prestige?
out of 283 biochem journals)
Started in October 2003
PLOS One (in 2010 will be the largest
science journal in the world) – est. 8,000
JIF= 4.351 (10th
out of 76 gen. biology journals)
OA – a flash in the pan?
Directory of Open Access Journals
More than 5,553 fully OA, peer reviewed
2 new titles per day
2,361 journals containing 461,954 articles are
searchable at article level.
OA – a flash in the pan? NOT!
1,500 OA repositories - new repository
Scientific Commons – 38 million OA
20% medical lit avail. Free within 2 years
Over 120 OA publication mandates
We publish for prestige, but we also
publish to be read & cited.
What if I point you to actual research that shows
OA articles are cited 25-250% more than toll
access (TA) articles?
Open Access Citation Advantage: An Annotated
Bibliography – A. Ben Wagner, Issues in Science &
Technology Librarianship, Winter 2010.
A Couple of OA Cite Advantage Studies
(OA-CA = citations to OA vs. TA articles)
44% OA-CA in Ecology
(Norris & Rowland, 2008) The citation advantage of
open-access articles. JASIST, 59(12), 1963-1972.
OA-CA: Math (91%); Elec. Engineering
(51%); Philosophy (45%)
(Antelman 2004) Do open-access articles have a
greater research impact? College & Research
Libraries. 65(5): p. 372-382.
What scholars should know about
Know what your OA options are.
OA journal not the whole story
Most non-OA journals allow authors to
deposit their articles in an IR/DR.
See http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/ for
Remember Institutional Repositories
You have rights! Retain right to mount
your hard work to an IR/DR.
Done right it will be visible to Google
Scholar, OAIster, & other OAI harvestors.
Wide variety of formats & document types
It’s all about discovery. More avenues the
The OA Advantage
As scholar, enlarge your audience/impact.
As reader, enjoy free online access to the
As teacher, your students have free,
liability-free access (fair use, course pack).
For all of us, moving away from an
unsustainable journal publishing system.
Journal of Chemical Information and
Modeling Article (how I came out on top
because of open access)
Reviewer Hell (the system is really, truly,
Open the channels of communication in your
Create Change (SPARC)
Making Change Work for You
Practical steps as faculty, researcher, reviewer,
editor, society member, teacher.
From Opportunity Assessment Instrument
ACRL Scholarly Communication Toolkit:
“10 Things You Should Know About Scholarly Communication”
“Open Access Overview” (Peter Suber):
Open Access Scholarly Information Sourcebook: Practical Steps for
Implementing Open Access: http://www.openoasis.org/
“Transforming Scholarly Communication and Publishing” (UB
Libraries – for faculty and students):
6 Things Researchers Need to Know about OA – P. Suber